Is Sports Betting Legal In The United States?

Is Sports Betting Legal In The United States?

Sports betting is legal in the United States. International sportsbooks serve every single state with sports betting options, and the states themselves have regulated sports betting in more than 30 different locations. This situation means that there are a ton of different ways to legally bet on sports in the United States.

The international sportsbooks are legal by virtue of being on the internet, and not governed by the US. The state-regulated sportsbooks are legal by virtue of state laws, which the repeal of PASPA allowed the states to take control of as it relates to online sports betting. You can legally bet on sports nearly anywhere in the US as of 2023.

What Makes Sports Betting Legal Online?

The major laws that govern sports betting in the United States are The Wire Act and The UIGEA. Before 2018, the major law governing sports betting was PASPA, which allowed for no sports betting by US-based entities. However, in 2018, that law was overturned, which allowed sports betting to be taken up by the states and regulated on a state-by-state basis.

Now, the Wire Act and the UIGEA mostly impact transactions related to gambling, rather than making any kind of gambling illegal. Both are federal laws, so whether or not they are enforced is at the discretion of the Department of Justice. The repeal of PASPA and subsequent regulation of sports betting in many states has led to much less enforcement of these rules.

Are Online Sportsbooks Breaking the Law?

Online sportsbooks are not breaking the law in the country where they are located. If they were to be operating in the US – especially in states that had not regulated sports betting – they would be breaking the law. As is, operations are handled entirely offshore, and thus they are not subject to US laws.

This also means that players can safely use them. While the sportsbooks themselves exist in a bit of a gray area, players do not – there are no laws on the books at a federal level that say you can't use an online sportsbook, or that sports betting itself is illegal. The laws on the books target providers, not consumers.

Will I Get Into Trouble For Betting On Sports Online?

No. There has never been anyone arrested or charged with using an international sportsbook to bet on sports. The sportsbooks themselves exist in something of a gray area, but using sportsbooks is not a gray area – there are no laws against it. If anyone was to go down for anything, it would never be the customer.

How Old Do I Need To Be to Bet on Sports in the US?

Gambling ages vary depending on what state you are in. They are almost always either 18 or 21, with some exceptions such as Alabama, which has a legal gambling age of 19. There are no states with a legal gambling age older than 21. There are also no states with a legal gambling age under 18.

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Is Sports Betting Safe At USA Online Sportsbooks?

Yes. Regardless of whether you use an international sportsbook or a state-regulated sportsbook, you will be safe doing so. The only risks you run are the risks of gambling – you are betting money, after all. The online sportsbooks we recommend are known for safe transfer of funds and ease of use. These sportsbooks – as well as the ones located in-state – are all regulated by various authorities, and are not the kind of books that cheat you.

Are There Different Sports Betting Laws in Each State?

Yes. Different states have different takes on sports betting. Some states offer sports betting over the internet, some states operate in-person sportsbooks, and some states have no sports betting options at all. More than 30 states have regulated sports betting as of 2023, but less than 20 have fully launched. This means that a significant portion of the US sports betting market still operates offshore.

Legal Sports Betting Sites That Take Players From All 50 US States

The only sports betting sites that will take players from all 50 states – or even more than 40 – are international. The state-based sportsbooks have to get approved on a state-to-state level, which requires politicking, license agreements, and more. The international sportsbooks just operate outside of that framework, and thus can offer sports betting in more places than the state-based books at the moment.


BetOnline Sportsbook 5 Star Rating

A Top International Book

BetOnline is one of the most widely available legal online sportsbooks for USA players to use. It’s a great sportsbook in its own right, but what really sets it apart is that you can use it legally in 49 states. BetOnline takes so many players from the US that other sportsbooks are left in the dust. They even – thanks to their international status – can offer betting on politics and entertainment odds in addition to everything you can find at any state-regulated sportsbook, making them a preferable option.


Bovada Sportsbook 5 Star Rating

The Premier International Sportsbook

Bovada is the cream of the crop when it comes to international sportsbooks. They accept players from 45 states, and they offer a great mobile website for bettors who want to wager on the go. They offer odds on everything from the NFL and NBA to entertainment, financials and politics wagers. This variety makes them a top destination for online sports betting, and easily the most popular online sportsbook in the US.

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